Coaching Outside Linebackers

Coaching Outside Linebackers

Coaching Outside Linebackers

The hardest position on the field for most defenses is the Outside Linebacker. In a typical 8-man Front, such as the 3-5-3 or 4-2-5 defenses, these players have dual responsibilities.

Responsibility

The Outside Linebacker is primarily responsible for containing the run, forcing the ball carrier to turn back inside on edge runs. He can also force the ball carrier to bubble and work laterally to the sideline, allowing pursuit to get there to help.

The second responsibility for the OLB is to cover the flats on the pass. Typically, 8-man fronts are going to be running Cover 3 as the base coverage.

Most defensive coordinators use a mixture of Zone and Man coverages. The OLB will normally be locked on the #2 Receiver to his side in Cover 1 or Cover 0, a slot or Tight End. When a player is locked up in man coverage, he cannot be considered a part of the run defense.

Alignment

The Outside Linebacker’s alignment will depend on your defense and his abilities. Typically, he will be somewhere in the range of 3-5 yards outside of the End Man on the Line of Scrimmage (EMOLS) and 2-5 yards off the Line of Scrimmage (LOS).

If there is a #2 receiver, the OLB commonly uses an apex alignment, 5 yards off the ball and halfway between the EMOLS and the slot. Depending on the team and the ability of the slot, you may choose to align him closer to the slot to deter the pass or tighter to the EMOLS to help on the running game.

Keys and Reaction

The OLB’s primary key is the EMOLS, a Tackle or Tight End, for a High-Hat, Low Hat read. High Hat, meaning the OT’s helmet pops up as in a pass set, tells him the play is pass, and he should open up to the flats (but this will be dictated by coverage call). On a low hat read, when the OT fires out with a flat back, he is assuming run. The OLB should be thinking run unless he gets a definite high hat pass read.

You can help the OLB get his reads by studying the film of the EMOLS he will be reading. Different teams employ different techniques for pass and run blocking.

After getting a low hat read, the OLB checks his secondary key – the running back. He needs to attack the run appropriately by reading the run block and backfield action:

EMOLS hard down block inside, RB to you: Attack the line of scrimmage to replace where the EMOLS left. Expect a kick-out block from a RB or pulling guard. Take it on with your inside arm, keeping the outside arm and leg free and the shoulders square to the line. Constrict the running lane inside and be ready to make the tackle of the Ball Carrier bounces outside.

EMOLS drive blocks the Defensive End, RB to you: Shuffle up and in, but do not close all the way to the line of scrimmage. Maintain outside leverage until the RB declares inside, then fold in to make the tackle. If he bounces outside, box the play.

EMOLS Reaches to you, RB fast flow outside to you: Attack to the line of scrimmage but keep your width. If you have a #2 receiver, decide whether you can beat him to the point of attack or need to defeat his block. If you have to defeat his block, go through him, driving him back and work to his outside to contain the play.

EMOLS Zone or Reach away from you, Backfield flow away: Keep your depth, fold inside to stack the Defensive End. Check for Counter, Reverse, Bootleg action and be ready to work back. Do not pass the Defensive End until the ball declares away from you.

The Play Action Pass can put a lot of stress on your backers. If the OLB reads run, he should attack because he is a run first player. But once he realizes pass, usually by the secondary key action, he should bust it to get back out to his pass coverage area. Never give up on a play!

Coaching the Outside Linebackers

The individual techniques needed for the OLBs are similar to any defensive player. They need to be able to read their key and react, defeat a block, make a tackle, pass drop and cause turnovers. All of these skills should be worked in a collection of 5 Every Day Drills, if time allows. Add in other drills to work your weaknesses.

Group work is crucial to the Outside Linebacker understanding his role. He will work with the Safeties, Corners, Defensive Ends and Inside Linebackers. Set up group drills each week that allow him to see his role in the defense with each of these groups. Make sure the group drills are relevant to the opponent you will face that week.

Understand that Offensive Coordinators will be picking on your Outside Linebacker. They are the player who is most easily put in conflict. Offensive schemes will try to frustrate him, and get him guessing.

Your Outside Linebackers will make mistakes! Train them to trust their keys, play physical, and run to the football at all times to have the best OLB play possible.

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Presidential Election Upset Occurs Exactly Fifty Years After Merger of Two Football Leagues

Presidential Election Upset Occurs Exactly Fifty Years After Merger of Two Football Leagues

Presidential Election Upset Occurs Exactly Fifty Years After Merger of Two Football Leagues

It seems somehow fitting that the stunning upset in the Presidential Election happened just one day before the fiftieth anniversary of the official merger of the nation’s two professional football leagues. That historic legislation, signed by President Lyndon Bains Johnson on November 7, 1966, helped pave the way for one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports.

Considered an inferior organization, the AFL began in the mid sixties to gain popularity with football fans. That fact was made clear when the NBC television network interrupted a November 1968 New York Jets and Oakland Raiders game to show the film Heidi, only to be hounded afterward by protests from fans around the country.

It was those very Jets who just two months later managed to pull off an upset similar to the one Donald Trump enjoyed in this recent Presidential Election. In the third Super Bowl New York had to face the Baltimore Colts who, like Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, were heavily favored to win.

In spite of the fact that the Jets were eighteen point underdogs, quarterback Joe Namath publicly declared that New York would win the game. Donald Trump would make a similar promise about the Presidential Election fifty years later, and history has recorded that both men succeeded.

Namath and the Jets beat the Colts 16-7 to win the Super Bowl, the first ever by an AFL team. The Green Bay Packers of the NFL had dominated the previous Super Bowls, out scoring their opponents in Kansas City and Oakland by a margin of 68-24.

In Joe Namath-like fashion last week, Donald Trump led the Republican Party to an upset victory over Clinton and the Democrats. Almost every election poll had predicted a big win for Clinton, as did every major newspaper and TV network. It promised to be so one-sided that some stations might have even interrupted the coverage to show a film not unlike the infamous decision to show Heidi over the Jets-Raiders matchup.

Fortunately, every station stuck with the election, which proved to be much closer than predicted. The surprise result will obviously have a much larger impact on America than did the Jets victory all those years ago, but that upset on the gridiron proved to be a great benefit to the NFL and the millions of football fans in the country.

A year after that Jets victory the leagues merged into one, which has since then been experiencing incredible financial and social growth for the last fifty years. Perhaps the recent Presidential upset can bring about a similar effect, maybe in the form of a peaceful merger between the two rival political parties to help bridge the antagonistic divisions among the American people.

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Kansas City Chiefs Parking Passes: Do You Need One?

Kansas City Chiefs Parking Passes: Do You Need One?

Kansas City Chiefs Parking Passes: Do You Need One?

So, you’re headed to Arrowhead Stadium for some NFL action! You may be wondering about the parking situation. Here’s the scoop on Kansas City Chiefs parking passes. You have a few different options when it comes to parking at Chiefs games. We’ll look at each one individually.

General Admission Parking: If you don’t have a reserved parking pass, you can roll up to the game and purchase general admission parking on the spot. The Chiefs will charge you a little over $20 for the privilege of walking a considerable distance to the stadium. If you don’t mind hoofing it and the weather’s nice, general admission parking may be all you need.

Red Reserved Parking: The Chiefs sell reserved parking in the red lots to select season ticket holders. The red lots start immediately after the street surrounding the stadium. The red lots are well-known for the pre-game tailgating. You can often find reserved Chiefs parking passes in the red lots on the secondary market. While «red reserved» parking will be more expensive than general admission, you’ll save some time and a fair amount of walking.

Gold Reserved Parking: Gold Chiefs parking passes are another option purchased by some season ticket holders that are later sold by ticket brokers and elsewhere on the secondary market. These Chiefs parking passes provide you with access to smaller lots that are almost right next to the stadium. If you purchase gold lot Chiefs parking passes, you’ll want to search for the lots nearest to the gate at which you’ll be entering for maximum convenience. Gold reserved parking can be a little pricey–especially during cold weather games–but you’ll appreciate the convenience of being so close to the stadium and the significantly reduced walk.

Off-Site Parking: Some people will park away from Arrowhead Stadium in order to save a few dollars on parking. If you’re on an extremely tight budget and don’t mind putting a great deal of wear on your shoes, you can give this penny-pinching strategy a shot. Be careful, though. More than one person has found a seemingly perfect spot only to later find his or her car towed during the game!

Most regular attendees will recommend reserved Chiefs parking passes. The red lots are a solid choice and the gold parking are even nicer. While you don’t need pre-purchased parking to attend a game at Arrowhead, those who obtain season ticket holder parking appreciate the benefits it provides.

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Must-Know Bayern Munich Facts for Readers

Must-Know Bayern Munich Facts for Readers

Must-Know Bayern Munich Facts for Readers

FC Bayern Munich is one of the most celebrity football clubs in the world. The club, which is popularly known as FC Bayern or even called FCB, competes in the top-tier of German football system, commonly known as Bundesliga. Without any shade of doubt, Bayern Munich has been the most consistent performer in Bundesliga. They are the most successful entity in Bundesliga. The article is intended to share some amazing Bayern Munich facts with the readers.

Bayern Munich – Story of Success

The club has climbed to the crest of success since its establishment back in 1900. Franz John along with eleven players took the leading role to set up the club. It was in 1932 when the Bavarian side claimed their first national champions title. The club kissed their greatest success in the 1970s. Bayern won the European title in 1974 and successfully defended the same in the next two seasons under great captaincy of Franz Beckenbauer who is considered one of the greatest players football has ever produced.

Among the Bundesliga clubs, Bayern has marched their way to the finals of the UEFA Champions League for the maximum number of times. The club has been the most dominant one in Bundesliga. Though the club was not a part of Bundesliga during its inception, it has won the Bundesliga title for the highest number of time. The club has wrapped up UEFA Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, European Cup Winners Cup and also International Cups.

In a word, the club has earned respect and popularity on strength of its success both on national and international level. They have produced several football legends. Several Bayern Munich players were in the World Cup winning German team in 2014.

Bayern Munich – Rich in Resources

Bayern Munich is rich in resources both in terms of money and talent. As per the latest reports, the club is one of the wealthiest entities in the world of football. The club attracts both fresh and experienced footballers from all over the globe. They also nourish the young prospects at their own academy. The club has been managed by a number of brilliant coaches and is currently under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti.

Rivalry & Jersey

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have become arch rivals since mid of 1990s. Their rivalry has become more infamous as Bayern has been alleged of attracting the star players from Borussia Dortmund in order to maintain their monopoly in Bundesliga. The club’s boys play in ‘red and white’ jersey. A ‘white and blue’ flag is the crest of Bayern.

Stadium & Members

The club has its home ground at the Allianz Arena. Olympiastadion used to be their home ground for 33 long years. Being popular internationally, the club has fans and followers all over the world.

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Small-Sided Games Increase Sports Skills

Small-Sided Games Increase Sports Skills

When Massachusetts had a five-year period where 16,000 youngsters quit youth hockey before they turned 8, USA Hockey re-evaluated its programming. Roger Grillo, regional manager for USA Hockey’s developmental program and a former coach at Brown University said in a Boston Magazine interview that «The research shows that it’s burnout. It’s too serious too soon.» USA Hockey adopted the American Development Model to guide the development of its young players through a long term athlete development plan.

For its youngest participants, the change meant cross-ice matches rather than full-ice matches that were no different than NHL games and multiple teams on the ice at practice. These changes prompted USA Hockey to create a document justifying the changes and dispelling 10 myths about the change away from real hockey. Some of the myths included:

It isn’t real hockey.

The kids won’t learn teamwork.

The kids won’t learn about positioning.

The ADM is only for the average player.

Too much fun is a bad thing.

The kids won’t have as much fun.

These excuses are used any time a league changes away from the adult-form of the game. Parents and coaches view sports from an adult mindset, rather than from the perspective of the child participating in the sport. However, when you factor skill, speed, size, strength and cognitive development, the small-sided games create more similar task constraints for youth players than the full-sided games.

In most youth sports, the majority of the players chase after the ball. Is that an adult form of the sport? Children do this because they lack higher order cognitive skills and the strength and skill to use the whole field or court. In basketball, presses work because young players cannot make a good 30-40-foot pass. This same defense would not work against stronger, more skilled adult players because the players understand spacing and can exploit the openings by making a strong pass over a large distance much faster than a defender can recover.

As a child, I started 11v11 soccer at seven years of age. We did not learn about teamwork or positioning – we learned to kick the ball as far as possible and hope that our fastest player could get to the ball and score. We never learned how to play the ball out of the back, how to interchange positions and more. We never had a left fullback sprinting the wing for a cross into the middle. We never played with the quick, short, one-touch passes popularized by F.C. Barcelona.

Consequently, nobody really developed the requisite skills to be a great player. We had fast players and some toughness, but not much skill (and we often won our league!). Our parent-coaches had never played soccer and did their best based on what made sense: we dribbled through cones, shot on goal and ran laps. When I drive by soccer fields today, I see the same practices.

JP Soccer, a youth league in Massachusetts, tired of the unskilled and tactically unaware players graduating from its league and blew up this model. Like a typical league, players practice one day per week and play a game on a second day. The league hires professional soccer trainers to work solely on technical skills with the players during the practice. On game day, the players join teams and play games without adult interference: no parent-coaches, no officials.

The league sets up fields of different sizes. One field might be long and narrow, while another field would be short and wide. The director assigns teams based on the order in which players arrive on a particular day. The first four players who arrive form one team and play the second four players to arrive. All games are played 4v4. After 15-20 minutes, the director switches the teams to different fields to play different opponents with different field constraints.

JP Soccer solved many problems plaguing most youth leagues: unequal teams, blowouts, playing time, individual involvement, inexperienced coaches, and more. Teams switch weekly so nobody loses or wins all of his games. Fifteen-minute games mean few blowouts. The limited number of players and space means everyone touches the ball and plenty of goals are scored. Professional coaches eliminate the need for inexperienced coaches – the league pays professional coaches to run skill sessions rather than paying officials to officiate 11v11 games.

Somehow, despite alleviating many problems associated with youth sports, many criticize the league because 4v4 soccer is not a real sport!

When I played, we arrived one hour before the game to ensure that nobody was late. We sat around, watched another game, stretched, ran some laps and listened to some pre-game talk. Finally, we took the field, kicked the ball around and eventually the game started. One game was drawn out to a three-hour event. JP Soccer eliminates the pretenses and gets straight to the playing. Do children enjoy the warm-ups and pre-game talks or the actual playing? What helps a player improve: running laps or playing with the ball?

Bert van Lingen in Coaching Soccer: The Official Coaching Book of the Dutch Soccer Association describes 4v4 as the optimal game for youth players, an assertion supported by a recent study commissioned by Manchester United and published by Rick Fenoglio from the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University. 4v4 is the smallest possible game that maintains the integrity of the game.

Similarly, FIBA sponsored 3v3 basketball at the 2010 Youth Olympics, while 2v2 beach volleyball is an Olympic sport, yet many resist small-sided basketball and volleyball leagues. I learned volleyball by playing 2v2 on the beach and never took to 6v6 volleyball because of the reduced action and touches on the ball. Those touches in 2v2 or 3v3 are the reason why the games are better for developmental athletes.

Young players need the opportunity to use in games the skills that they practice. If a volleyball coach practices setting with his players because he feels that all players need to develop all skills, but the middle blocker never sets in games, will he focus in practice on the setting drills? Will he retain and transfer the skill? Worse, if the coach only teaches his setters how to set, what happens when the 10-year-old middle blocker is only six-feet tall as a high school junior and unable to play in the middle because of his 6’5 teammates?

If the player never learned the skill as a youth, he is unlikely to transfer to a new position. By concentrating on position-specific skills at a young age, the coach narrows the player’s development. By playing 2v2, where the player has to perform all the skills in every game, the player has a broad foundation of skills and can transfer the skills to different environments and tasks.

In the Boston Magazine article, Boston University head coach Jack Parker lamented that only three of his players were from Massachusetts compared to 15 a decade ago. «There are more recruitable players from the state of Texas and the state of California than from the state of Massachusetts,» Parker said. «That is unbelievable.» USA Hockey made a decision to focus on age-appropriate leagues that create task constraints more similar to those imposed on adult players despite the smaller playing surface and provide all players with more opportunities to perform the skills that separate the good players. JP Soccer, PBDL and USYVL made the same decision in soccer, basketball and volleyball.

Rather than concentrate on what is or is not real, parents should find leagues that give players more opportunities to perform with the ball and have fun. These will be the developmental experiences that lead to better skill levels and better performance when the players’ maturation level moves the players to the real game.

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